Review – NZXT Switch 810

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MODELSwitch 810
CASE TYPE Hybrid Full Tower
FRONT PANEL MATERIALPlastic/Steel
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD)235 x 595 X 585 mm
VGA Clearance Maximum375mm (w/out fan), 350 (installed), 285 (full pivot)
COOLING SYSTEMFRONT, 2 X 120/140mm (1x 140mm included)
REAR, 1 X 120/140mm (1x 140mm included)
TOP, 3 X 120/140mm (1x 140mm included)
BOTTOM, 2x 120/140mm
INTERIOR, 2x 120/140mm (1x 140mm included)
SIDE, Large acrylic window
DRIVE BAYS4 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS
6 INTERNAL 3.5″ DRIVE BAYS
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S)Steel, Plastic
EXPANSION SLOTS 9
WEIGHT9.1KG
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORTE-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, MICRO-ATX, Mini-ITX

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NZXT knows that everyone has different tastes when it comes to their case. Some people want a smaller mid tower, with just enough room for the essentials. Others need something a little bit bigger. And then there are the people who want a case so big, that they might not be able to fit it under their desk. For those in that last group, there is the Switch 810.

First Look

As soon as you see it, you’ll know that this case is huge. It stands roughly two feet tall, and almost as long. But just being large isn’t the only feature this chassis has to offer. On the top you’ll find an interesting set of openings. These can be opened or closed at the pull of a lever, which gives you the option of providing more airflow, or making the case a bit quieter.

In the front there is a push panel that hides four USB ports (two 3.0 and two 2.0), audio jacks, an SD card slot, your reset switch, and an on/off switch for LEDs. We’ll talk about the LEDs in just a moment. Further down is a removable panel which reveals a hot-swappable hard drive bay. We’ve seen bays like this before in NZXT cases, but this is definitely the best execution.

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On the rear you’ll not notice much at first, however, one of my favorite features is hidden here. Remember that LED switch I was talking about earlier? Well there are two LEDs on the back of the case. One is positioned just above your IO connectors, while the other is above your PCI slots. Now when you’re going to be plugging something in under your dark desk, you can just press the LED button, and have all the light you need. This is something I hope to see in future cases.

Inside there are still more interesting things to see. There are a pair of fan mounts which are unique to the Switch 810. Instead of being stationary, they can be angled up to 15 degrees. This allows you to pinpoint extra airflow over your GPU or CPU. Granted, in a small area, I’m not sure how effective a shift like that will be, but it’s interesting, nonetheless. You’ll also find two sets of hard drive bays. Each of these can be removed, allowing for better airflow, or the accommodation of longer video cards.

For those concerned about dust, there are three different fan filters to be found. Two are on the bottom, at the front and back. These are hidden, and pop out with the press of a finger. The third is on the front of the case, which is also accessed by way of a hidden push button. This is also how you access the two front fans.

Speaking of fans, the Switch 810 will hold a maximum of 10. You’ll have your choice of 120mm or 140mm, but it comes with five of the larger ones.

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Installation

Whether or not you like big cases, there’s no denying that they are much easier to work with during the installation process. The Switch is certainly no exception. Those using air cooling and a single video card might think that they have too much room, but I say that there’s no such thing. If you’re running a triple GPU system with liquid cooling, you’ll still find the case to be roomy enough for your needs.

For those that want the cleanest-looking case, you’ll be happy to see a plethora of cutouts (with rubber grommets) for routing cables. Behind those grommets you’ll find a little more than 3/4” of space to run all of those cables. I found this to be plenty of room to cram cables, without creating a bulge in the side panel.

While you’re back there looking at cables, you’ll run into something rather interesting. There is a small board with seven 3-pin fan connectors and a single 4-pin molex connector. This means that almost all of your fans will be routed to the same spot (you’ll only need more if you add to the five fans that come with the case). While I find this to be a wonderful feature, I feel like NZXT missed an opportunity here. If they could have added in a fan controller to this, it would have been perfect.

Among the other cables, you’ll find a stray SATA power connector. This actually baffled me for a bit, as I couldn’t figure out what on earth it did, and you don’t usually see a cable with the male (I’m assuming that the end connected to a drive is the male, here. You don’t generally see them described as such) end on it. After a bit of work, it turns out that this is what powers the LEDs on the back of the case. On one hand, I’m happy to see manufacturers move away from the ancient 4-pin molex connectors, I find it strange that they use a SATA connector here, and the molex for the fans. Just one or the other would have been nice.

My biggest, and only serious complaint about this case comes from the hard drive brackets. If you’re using standard 3.5-inch drives, you shouldn’t experience any issues. However, if you’ve upgraded to an SSD, you’ll find  that plugging in your cables isn’t the easiest of tasks. Due to the way the brackets are designed, when you screw in the smaller drive, there is a plastic bar directly below the ports. You can bend this a bit and wiggle the cables to make them fit. However, I’d recommend simply breaking off this little bar, as the stress on the SATA connectors is not worth it.

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Final Thoughts

I’ll say again that this case is massive. In order to fit it under my desk, it has to sit at an angle that is parallel to my keyboard tray. Otherwise, the plastic on top gets ever so slightly scraped by the bars of the tray. You’ll want to measure your area before buying. As for the fins on top, they do look cool, but I’m not convinced that they actually do a whole lot. The difference in sound is minimal, mostly because no other efforts have been made to dampen the noise coming from it. And depending on how you have your fans setup, the extra airflow from opening the vents might do more harm than good.

In the end though, I love this case. It’s big, it has lots of room for fans, or a liquid cooling setup. It looks sleek, and offers a lot in the way of cable management. And those LEDs on the back? Brilliant. I’m still a bit confused about the hard drive trays, and why they don’t want to play nice with SSDs, but  in the end, I was able to install mine just fine. At a price of around $170, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a case that’s this big, with this many features for less.

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The Good

  • Lots of room for cabling and cooling
  • Rear-mounted LEDs
  • Adjustable fins and fans for cooling

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The Bad

  • Hard drive bays don’t play nicely with SSDs
  • May be too large for some desks

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